If you are a poultry owner, you might have mulled over adding an Australorp to the flock. It’s no wonder because they’re great layers with extraordinary personalities. Plus, they make good meat birds, too. You might wonder about the visual and personality differences between roosters and hens.
Some rooster breeds can be rather challenging since they can be so aggressive. But are Australorps the same? Let’s discuss the in-depth differences between the two. Also, learn how to tell if you have a male or female on your hands early.
At a Glance
Black Australorp Rooster Overview
Sometimes roosters can get a pretty bad rap, but every flock needs one. Roosters do many amazing things, such as keeping your hens safe from danger. Plus, it’s hard to breed without them.
So what can you expect if you own a black Australorp rooster? Let’s take a look at some of their traits and characteristics.
Much like their hen counterparts, black Australorp roosters are docile and friendly. Every rooster can be a bit of a mess sometimes. However, more breeds are prone to aggression than others. The good news is that even if you buy a flock of pullets and end up with a rooster, you’ll be just fine.
All roosters have the potential to show some aggressive or protective tendencies with their flock. After all, if they didn’t act protective, they might lose some flock members. But for the most part, black Australorp roosters are incredibly gentle and take after themselves.
They might even be quite curious and follow you around.
Unlike some breeds, black Australorp roosters and hens look remarkably similar. Black Australorp roosters have raised tails with iridescent black feathers. They have a large red comb with bright red wattles.
The red stands out against their black coloring, making them look completely unique. Roosters tend to be larger than the hens as well.
As with most roosters—their job is to protect the flock.
If you have multiple roosters and one flock, remember to have at least 10 hens per rooster. This eliminates the risk of over breeding and aggressive, territorial tendencies. Since black Australorp roosters tend to be so docile, having another more aggressive rooster of a different breed might cause them to fight.
Health & Care
Black Australorp roosters are typically very healthy. However, if you have multiple roosters that do fight each other, they can get infections.
These roosters can breed up to 30 times per day. For this reason, it is imperative to have at least 10 hens per rooster.
Because of their docile nature, these roosters can get along fine around other pets and small children. They are less likely to attack or to show aggression to other animals or humans. If you are looking for a safe yard where your roosters can protect your hens without any extra flack, this rooster is a good choice for you.
Black Australorp Hen Overview
Black Australorp hens are a pleasure to have in virtually any barnyard situation. These chickens tend to do very well in large and small flocks. They also do fine in both free-ranging and caged living situations, although they prefer to wander around.
They are high-producing chickens that also do well for meat production. If you’re keeping chickens as pets, they have inquisitive, outgoing, and easy-going personalities.
So many owners love Australorps because they are agreeable with other hens and social with people. You might find that they have somewhat of a free spirit. These chickens tend to be incredibly gentle and curious.
These hens get along very well with their other poultry sisters. They might even make friends with the family dog.
Black Australorp hens are sturdy birds with iridescent black feathering. They have bright red crests and wattles.
Australorps are widely revered for their incredible egg production, producing up to 300 brown eggs per year.
In addition to being excellent layers, they are plump hens that make excellent meat birds, too. This breed is considered all-purpose, so you can keep them for one or the other, both—or simply for the pleasure of having them around.
Health & Care
Black Australorp hens have a life expectancy between 6 to 10 years. While they are relatively healthy chickens, there are some minor issues to look out for, such as common parasites.
An Australorp’s beautiful black feathers can attract sunlight more than some of their breeds. For this reason alone, it can make them more susceptible to issues such as heat stroke.
Some black Australorps have a strong motherly instinct and tend to go broody quite frequently. It doesn’t mean every hen will do so, but it’s more likely with these hens than with many other breeds. If you’re looking for a hen who will sit on the eggs, these hens are a prize-winning pick.
Once your hen begins laying, incubation typically takes up to 21 days total. After the eggs hatch, these chickens remain wonderful mothers, looking out and protecting the chicks until they are old enough to do so themselves.
Black Australorp hens are an ideal breed for virtually any flock situation. These chickens are perfect for egg-laying, meat production, and they are exceptional at making friends. They can serve all of your expectations of having chickens.
When Can You Decipher Sex?
When you go to pick out your chickens, many hatcheries will have the chickens divided into cockerels and pullets. Cockerels are baby roosters and pullets are baby hens. As with anything else, sometimes even experienced professionals can be wrong when determining the sex of the chick.
There is about a 90% chance of accuracy when you buy your flock. If you do end up with a rooster or two, you need to prepare to care for them regardless.
Then checking should only be performed by someone who knows what they’re doing. If you don’t fully familiarize yourself with the procedure, you can damage or even kill one of your chicks.
It would help if you allowed someone with experience to check the vent rather than trying to wing it from a YouTube video.
While this method isn’t always an accurate way to tell, female wings tend to be longer if the bird is a female. If all of the feathers seemed to be the same length, then it’s likely a male.
Combs & Wattles
Sexing your chicks by looking at their combs or wattles is also not necessarily accurate. However, males tend to have redder and more defined combs and wattles when they are 6 weeks old.
Another way to differentiate between the two is that males tend to have larger legs than females. They also develop spurs eventually as well.
- Related Read: 10 Chicken Breeds with Feathered Feet (with Pictures)
If you aren’t sure if you have boys or girls, the crow can tell you all you need to know. Only males crow. So, if you hear one of your so-called hens let out a little yodle, you might have a little boy on your hands after all.
If you use no other tricks, the gender will be apparent by the time they reach 16 to 24 weeks.
Black Australorp Bantams
In addition to roosters and hens, there are also black bantam Australorps. Bantams are smaller than regular-sized chickens. Consider them miniature versions. So, what does that mean for temperament, size, and egg production?
On a large scale, Bantams are known to be a bit more of a handful than average-sized chickens. The roosters might be a bit feistier, and the females bossier. Even still, the black bantam Australorps tend to be less rambunctious than some other bantam breeds.
Since bantams are much smaller, they do not lay eggs as frequently as standard size chickens. Bantam breeds are considered ornamental—for looks only. However, they do produce small, brown eggs.
Bantam Australorp hens and roosters mimic their larger counterparts. Rather than having a naturally sloping, even set of tail feathers, bantam hens have defined, erect tail feathers.
Black Australorp Bantam chickens are ideal if you keep poultry as pets. Since they aren’t high producers of eggs and too small for meat production, they work best ornamentally. They might not serve as much of a practical purpose, but their personalities will keep you happy.
Which Sex Is Right for You?
You can have both Australorp hens and roosters. However, remember that if you have more than one rooster in a flock, there needs to be at least one rooster per 10 hens to keep things equal.
Both sex can be fantastic additions to your existing flock or as a standalone flock all their own. You can’t go wrong when you own this breed because they are above average in every area—from eggs to meat to personality.
Featured Image: Top – Ton Bangkeaw, Shutterstock | Bottom – mattyh, Pixabay